Zero Hedge – by Tyler Durden
Back in August, just after the false flag chemical weapon attack in Syria, we showed that despite all the posturing by the Obama administration (and, of course, France’s belligerent, socialist leader Francois Hollande), the nation behind the entire Syrian campaign was not one of the “democratic”, Western nations but none other than close neighbor Saudi Arabia, and the brain orchestrating every move of the western puppets was one Bandar bin Sultan, the nation’s influential intelligence chief. We also explained the plethora of geopolitical and mostly energy-related issues that Saudi and Qatar had at stake, which they were eager to launch a regional war over, just to promote their particular set of selfish interests. A month later, in clear confirmation that this was precisely the case, the WSJ reported that the recent overtures by Obama, brilliantly checkmated by Putin, to push for a peaceful resolution with not only Syria, but suddenly Iran as well, has managed to infuriate Saudi Arabia: traditionally one of the US’ closest allies in the region and the key source of crude oil to the western world.
From the WSJ:
The Obama administration’s handling of overtures on Syria and Iran have outraged regional ally Saudi Arabia, which is signaling it wants to do more to boost the power of armed Sunni rebel groups on the ground in Syria as the U.S. pursues diplomacy.
Saudis fear that Syrian President Basher al-Assad will use the time afforded by U.S.- and U.N.-backed diplomacy on Syria “to impose more killing and to torture its people,” Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said Thursday night in New York, in a warning that was overshadowed by the attention paid to the weekend’s first public contacts in three decades between the presidents of Iran and the U.S.
Two developments have particularly alarmed Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, another Gulf state: U.S.-backed diplomacy that is giving Mr. Assad an opportunity to surrender his chemical weapons, heading off a U.S.-military strike against the Assad regime; and warming relations between Messrs. Obama and Rouhani.
On Sept. 12, as Mr. Rouhani was tweeting some of the first Iranian overtures in decades to the West, former Saudi diplomat Turki al Faisal was telling a London defense forum that Iran’s leaders should stand trial for war crimes for supporting Mr. Assad.
“The current charade of international control over Bashar’s chemical arsenal would be funny if it were not so blatantly perfidious, and designed not only to give Mr. Obama an opportunity to back down, but also to help Assad butcher his people,” Prince Turki said then.
Oh yes, it is the inequitable treatment of Syrian people that has outraged that paragon of humanism and civil liberties, Saudi Arabia, whose oligarchs are best known for paying billions in petrodollars to bribe their own populace in 2011 to avoid the same swift and terminal fate that befell all other regional dictators during the Arab Spring. Surely the transit of local commodities, either crude or primarily LNG under Syria, has nothing to do with Saudi outrage at the US betrayal of its national interests.
So with the main western ally out of the picture, it means Saudi Arabia will have to brave it alone.
The Saudi foreign minister’s declaration is significant because Saudi Arabia, while one of the main suppliers of Syria’s predominately Sunni opposition, up to now has heeded U.S. fears throughout the conflict that aid to Syrian rebels could strengthen armed, anti-Western Sunni factions. Shiite Muslim Iran backs Mr. Assad in the Syrian conflict, while most Sunni Muslim-ruled Gulf Arab states support the rebels fighting to overthrow Mr. Assad.
Saudi Arabia, for example, long held off on supplying Stinger-style missiles to Syrian rebels because of U.S. worries the missiles could be used against Western targets, security analysts briefed by Saudi officials say. Saudi Arabia increased pressure on the U.S. to allow arming the rebels with antiaircraft weapons this summer, as larger numbers of Hezbollah fighters entered the conflict on the side of Mr. Assad’s regime.
Ironically, in now desperately trying to make it appear that Obama (and John Kerry) is a pacifist after nearly launching World War III (while simply playing a minor role in a script designed by Vladimir Putin), the Nobel peace prize winner has succeeded in alienating a key strategic ally while gaining absolutely nothing in return.
Saudis now feel that the Obama administration is disregarding Saudi concerns over Iran and Syria,and will respond accordingly in ignoring “U.S. interests, U.S. wishes, U.S. issues” in Syria, said Mustafa Alani, a veteran Saudi security analyst with the Geneva-based Gulf Research Center.
“They are going to be upset—we can live with that,” Mr. Alani said Sunday of the Obama administration. “We are learning from our enemies now how to treat the United States.”
Why with friends like these, who needs to create false flag attacks against US enemies…
At the end of the day, however, Saudi knows that it can not jeopardize
its key customer relationships and certainly not the Petrodollar, so
while it is worried about the religious and political implications of
what a failure in Syria means, there is little it can actually do on its
Sunni-dominated Gulf Arab governments, especially Saudi Arabia, deeply fear that Shiite Muslim-ruled Iran wants to use Shia populations in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Yemen to destabilize Gulf Arab governments and try to throw the regional balance of power toward Iran.
Saudi Arabia wants the U.S. and Iran to improve relations for the sake of Middle East stability, but no longer trusts the Obama administration to look out for Saudi Arabia’s fears of perceived Iranian expansionism, said Mr. Alani, the analyst with the Gulf Research Center.
In truth, Saudi and other Gulf Arab countries have little leverage to advance their aims in any U.S.-Iran diplomacy, Gulf security analysts said. Beyond revving up support for rebels in Syria, Saudis have only a few other means, such as directing more of their arms or energy deals to Asia, said Michael Stephens, researcher at the Royal United Services Institute think tank in Qatar.
“They feel a little bit powerless in all this,” Mr. Stephens said. “The fact that this process is going on…it directly affects them and they have no say in it.”
But while Saudi Arabia, tremendous diplomatic manipulator that it is, will behave rationally, it is far less certain what Israel will do and how it will respond to the sudden and very much unexpected US detente in the middle-east: an unpalatable peaceful outcome to the two nations, and one where Israel and Saudi bellicose interests are very much aligned.